The Organic and Millet-2018 International Trade Fair came to an end on Sunday after facilitating business deals worth Rs 79 crore in three days during which the footfall crossed 2 lakh.
About 34 companies signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) for deals that effectively expand the millet market at national and international level. Apart from Rs 79.31 crore business deals, some private companies signed letters of intent worth Rs 27.6 crore with 14 farmers federations.
Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said that the event has opened up space for private players to enter the millet market and contribute to its growth. "There are a lot of stakeholders in this ecosystem, including research institutes, academic facilities, businessmen and the government. We all must be a part of the solution and not the problem," he said.
Gowda said startups are no longer limited to the IT sector but have now entered the agriculture sector. "Last year, Rs 10 crore was set aside in the state budget to encourage startups. In the trade fair, 16 startups were given financial aid," he said.
Nine companies have entered into an agreement to boost organic products in the state. Long-term agreements worth Rs 340 crore have also been signed.
IT, BT and Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge said Agriculture and IT department will come together to form an agriculture excellence centre. "The centre will be opened within two months," he said.
He said Karnataka was second in the world in creating an encouraging ecospace for startups. "The way we use technology and internet has become a model for the entire country. Last year, we gave financial aid to more than 250 startups," he added.